by David Podmajersky
February 6, 2001
Sometimes it's just "meant to be". As David recalls,
it didn't hit him until later on, something led him to record that
I started into the genealogy
webmastering thing some time ago but never really had a focus. It's
sort of silly that I had no direction since I live in a town that
was settled in the 1600s, There's a ton of great information around.
So I started to photograph and transcribe local cemeteries. I stuck
with the ones that I had seen on my travels around town. There's
still tons to do at these and in particular one will take just about
my entire life to complete. But over the past summer I was visiting
this large one every weekend taking thousands of pictures when I
believe I was haunted for the first time.
When I discussed my haunting with my wife, we came to the conclusion
that someone was telling me to stop spending so much time in that
particular cemetery and visit some others. So I did and that work
has been very satisfying but I still had this feeling that I was
meant to work on some other cemeteries.
To step back for a second, I am not really a ghost person per se.
I refer to myself as a ghost agnostic in the sense that I've never
seen any and I don't know anything about ghosts, spirits, etc. My
wife, on the other hand, is very atuned to the spiritual side of
things. We moved into our house a couple years ago and she feels
there are some old spirits kicking around the place. She says she
has seen some unexplained shadows and every so often a door is knocked
open. This past Christmas we had my family over for dinner and my
sister witnessed the unexplained shadow thing. My wife let her know
that this was nothing out of the ordinary and explained about the
things she had seen.
Over the past weekend, someone e-mailed me asking me to try to
locate a particular cemetery in which some of their ancestors had
likely been interred. So I ran out to the store and purchased a
very detailed map. I wasn't able to locate the particular cemetery
but I'll keep trying until I do. I was flipping through the map
looking at my town when I happened to notice a very small cemetery
I had never known listed. I told my wife I was going out for a while
to locate the place since I had no idea there was anything there.
Lo and behold I found this half acre of very heavily wooded land
which had some headstones. So I went home and planned to return
the next day with my camera.
The next day I was discussing this with my wife when she noted
that the cemetery was very close to our house but across a major
highway. We mused that perhaps our ghosts were interred there or
perhaps our property is situated on their old farmstead. I went
out, photographed the few stones that were visible, transcribed
them, and posted a listing on my site last night. This morning I
received an e-mail which read as follows:
"For years I've been searching for my 3rd great grandfather's
grave. You just found it for me and I thank you for taking the photo
also. You have provided me with so much valuable information and
each folder now has a photo of the family member's headstone, thanks
This was very gratifying and pretty cool to say the least. My wife
and I speculated that this might be part of the "calling" I had
been feeling. We wondered if this person might have been reaching
out to their descendant who was seeking them and used me to make
the connection. Later, my wife was talking to her mother on the
phone, telling her the story. My mother-in-law told my wife that
she should "ask for a sign" to know whether we were compelled to
bring these folks together. My wife said "sure, sure sounds
like an idea, but I think I'll take a pass on that". Just then
our garage door opened of its own volition!
Now I'm pretty much convinced that this chain of events was supposed
to happen. Sometimes we feel compelled to do things or have a "calling"
that we just can't explain. I know I often try to push these feelings
out of my head but whenever I yield to them, good things seem to
happen. There are no giant miracles in my daily life but I am convinced
that there are a lot of little ones. I just have to be open to hearing
- David Podmajersky
David is an avid genealogist, cemetery recordist, and is the
creator of "DistantCousin.com",
a website to help people locate distant relatives. You can contact
him at: email@example.com